New York: Top 50 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16


Syracuse plays short-handed due to probation. The best St. John’s player quit because of the strictness of new coach Chris Mullin (pictured), and Donovan McNabb won the last football game between ranked teams when his Syracuse Orange defeated Army in 1996. There are 50 players to watch this season in New York, and they are spread over 18 colleges and several high schools in a state dominated by pro sports.

We ran the Value Add Sports calculations on all returning athletes in the state and emailed sports writers and other experts in the state to help rank the 50 state players to watch on a list we will update here.

The top 50 below includes student-athletes from Albany, Army, Brockport State, Buffalo, Canisius, Colgate, Columbia, Cornell, Elmira College, Fordham, Hofstra, Iona, Oswego State, Plattsburgh State, St. Bonaventure, St. John’s, Stony Brook, and Syracuse. But it has been Jameel Warney of Stony Brook who has drawn the attention of analytics systems.

Warney closed the season with a three-game stretch against some of Stony Brook’s toughest opponents by averaging 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots as each game came down to a final basket. However, he plays for a team with virtually no offense.

The Red Storm’s hiring of St. John’s legend Mullin brought hope that the team could move into a void in sports while Syracuse is limited to only 10 scholarships for the next several years due to probation. But with most of last year’s team graduated, transfer Darien Williams could be St. John’s best player if completely healed from shoulder surgery. He is a 6-foot-8 three-point shooter who showed he could light it up as a JUCO player before sitting out last year for surgery.

The player with the best future could well be Rawle Alkins out of Brooklyn’s Christ The King.

Here are the top 50 to watch:

  1. Jameel Warney, Stony Brook, Basket, C
  2. Brittney Wade, Columbia, Track/Field, 800m Run
  3. Maodo Lo, Columbia, Basket, SG
  4. Rawle Alkins, Brooklyn, NYChrist The King, Basketball, G
  5. Shannon Hugard, Cornell, Track/Field, 800m Run
  6. Schadrac Casimir, Iona, Basket, SG
  7. Victor Steffen, Colgate, Football, DL
  8. Kevyn Hoyos, Syracuse, Track/Field, 10,000m Run
  9. Justin Moss, Buffalo, Basket, C
  10. Eliza Doll, Colgate, Soccer, Midfielder
  11. Laura Dougall, Buffalo, Soccer, Goalkeeper
  12. Vivian Vega, Albany, Soccer, Forward
  13. Jordan Crump-King, Albany, Track/Field, Triple Jump
  14. Darien Williams, St. John’s, Basketball
  15. Jake Melville, Colgate, Football, QB
  16. Shawn Hulshof, OswegoState, Hockey
  17. Terrel Hunt, Syracuse Orange, Football, QB
  18. Michael Gbinije, Syracuse, Basket, SF
  19. Shamorie Ponds, Brooklyn, NYThomas Jefferson, Basketball, G
  20. Thomas Girardot, Army, Track/Field, 3,000m Steeplechase
  21. Kayla Meneghin, PlattsburghState, Hockey
  22. Courtney Brosnan, Syracuse, Soccer, Goalkeeper
  23. Kassius Robertson, Canisius, Basket, PG
  24. Kassoum Yakwe, Centereach, NYOur Savior New American, Basketball, F
  25. Alexsondra Moar, St. John’s, Soccer, Midfielder
  26. Clare Shea, Army, Soccer, Midfielder
  27. Donnie Simmons, Syracuse, Football, DE
  28. Ron Thompson, Syracuse, Football, DE
  29. Natalie Ambrose, Columbia, Soccer, Defender
  30. Jason Tomlinson, Albany, Track/Field, 400m Dash
  31. Jarryd ten Vaanholt, ElmiraCollege, Hockey-,
  32. Dion Wright, St. Bonaventure, Basket, PF
  33. Ty Jerome, New Rochelle, NYIona Prep, Basketball, G
  34. Marqez Hodge, Syracuse, Football, LB
  35. Kevin Huerter, Clifton Park, NYShenendehowa, Basketball, G
  36. Grace Claxton, Albany, Track/Field, 400m Dash
  37. Chase Nieuwendyk, BrockportState, Hockey-,
  38. Juan’ya Green, Hofstra, Basket, PG
  39. Devon Willis, Albany, Track/Field, Triple Jump
  40. Howard Washington, Buffalo, NY, FLMontverde Academy, Basketball, G
  41. Matthew Campbell, Albany, Track/Field, High Jump
  42. Mandell Thomas, Fordham, Basket, SG
  43. Mamadou Diarra, Corona, NY, CTWoodstock Academy, Basketball, F
  44. Joe Licata, Buffalo Bulls, Football, Receiver
  45. Drew Hennessey, Army Black Knights, Football, OLine
  46. John Weber, Colgate, Football, OL
  47. John Quazza, Colgate, Football, TE
  48. Julian Whigham, Syracuse, Football, DBack
  49. Kyle Diener, Colgate, Football, LB
  50. Jonah Bowman, Colgate, Football, PK


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